4 Ways to Save Energy and Money

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Saving energy can translate into big savings in your wallet. Here are 4 easy, cost-effective ways to save energy and money.

Use Power Strips

Yes, your phone charger does consume electricity, even if you aren’t using it. And your television. And your lamp. This “phantom load,” according to the EPA, can cost the average home about $100. Try to plug all these objects into the same power strip. Then you can just switch it on and off without unplugging any cords.

Change Lightbulbs

Lighting represents about 11% of your home’s energy bill. By replacing incandescent, old lightbulbs with CFLs or LEDs, you can save up to 75% on your annual lighting bill. You could save that money up for a new fuel efficient car.

Change Shower head

The typical shower head flow rate is about 4 gallons per minute (if your home is older than 1980, it could be above 5 gallons per minute). For a ten minute shower, that amounts to 40 gallons of water! However, by installing a low-flow shower head, the flow rate could drop from 2.5 gallons per minute to as low as .75 gallons. That’s about 25 gallons of water compared to 40 gallons per ten-minute shower.

Toilet Tank Hack

Toilets use anywhere from 3.6 gallons of water per flush to 1.6 gallons. A quick, cost-effective way to reduce toilet water consumption is by filling up an old 2-liter bottle, or one-gallon jug, with gravel or sand and placing it in the toilet tank. That’ll save you at least a gallon of water per flush. Think about how many times the toilet is flushed per day.

Saving energy doesn’t have to break your bank. In fact, it can put more money in your pocket. Try out these energy-saving tips and let us know other ways you save energy!

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Tips for Hiring Movers

tips for hiring movers

Moving can be tedious. It can also be fun: when someone else does all the work.

If you’re considering hiring movers, it is important to stay informed on their moving policies and practices. Are they liable if your box of fragile glassware arrives in pieces? It’s also important to know about the business itself. ApartmentHomeLiving.Com provides helpful questions that ensure you or your stuff won’t be left in the dark.

Staying informed can be a chore. An estimate from a professional moving business requires, at times, complicated variables. What must be considered, and what you should ask about, is how long it will take to move your possessions and how they will be handled. Ask about previous experience, and what sort of challenges come with each move.

Before you pack up your stuff, you may want to visualize how you will arrange your things before you arrive. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for your movers. If your new home is a thousand miles away, don’t expect a rush, next-day delivery. And if you do get that rush delivery, you may have moved too fast.

Photo credit: Thad Zajdowicz via Foter.com / CC BY

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The Best Time to Apartment Search

apartment searching

The decision to search for a new apartment brings feelings of hope and, sometimes, stress. Of course, there are many factors that determine where you will end up. For example, an apartment’s website rank on Google could rule out otherwise viable options. Most people don’t search more than two or three-page results.

But an otherwise important element to apartment searching, yet often ignored, is timing. ApartmentHomeLiving.Com recommends that if you are looking for a new apartment, be aware of special deals for rental prices. Most deals are time-sensitive. It might not be such a bad idea to move in the winter, in the off-season of the apartment hunt. Some complexes may just need to fill one more vacancy to meet their goals. Alternatively, the summer may provide more apartments to choose from, as more people apartment search.

According to Rent.com, the best time to search for apartments, if you want the most options, is from May to September. This is the time span in which most people move. Thus, more vacancies. But if you’re looking to save money, the best time to search for apartments is from October to April. With fewer people on the move during this period, vacant units are in lower demand. This drives prices down.

If you are looking for a quick way to save on rent, the timing of your search may perhaps be the most underrated factor. If you know where you’d like to move, it’s better if you plan ahead of time. That way, you’ll enjoy more options and save more money.

Photo credit: GotCredit via Foter.com / CC BY

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The Advantages of Renting

the advantages of renting

Deciding between renting an apartment and buying a house? Of course, buying a home gives the stability of a mortgage. And renting a house or apartment allows for tremendous flexibility of location and residency duration. But there must be more, right? Is flexibility the only reason to rent?

Many pro-and-con lists are created for this type of decision. Realtor.Com has a convincing video for the pros of renting. For example, if you rent, you may have access to amenities that, as a homeowner, would not typically be in your reach. Similarly, renters often do not make home repairs. Rather, property managers and landlords take care of them. What renters lack in ownership they gain in freedom. If you don’t like your neighborhood, feel an itch to move, or want to explore the world, renting is a good option for flexible people. Leases aren’t mortgages. With renting, you aren’t locked in for 30 years.

The Khan Academy has published a video on the difference, mathematically, between renting and buying. They challenge the notion that “buying is always better than renting.” Many people have also challenged the claim. If you haven’t heard, renting is on the up-and-up. According to Appfolio.Com, “2 million new renter-occupied households were added in 2014, while the number of owner-occupied households decreased by more than 350,000.”

Renting has many appeals, from communal living to practically maintenance-free appliances. And renters don’t need to acquire realtors. Many apartment complexes have their own websites. If websites are the “For Rent” signs of the internet, you no longer need to drive milest Utilizing the tool ApartmentsForUs.Com proves the many advantages renters have over traditional home buyers because of the rise of digital marketing.

Amenities are an often overlooked but important aspect of renting a unit in an apartment complex. If you buy a house, not many conveniences are included. Gyms typically require a $30-$50 a month payment plan. You may have to drive to a far location to play tennis or basketball, or swim. And, almost certainly, your home will not come with a playground. Imagine all these expenses as monthly fees in addition to your mortgage. However, many apartment complexes include such amenities and more.

The last thing you want, after closing a house for hundreds of thousands of dollars, is to hear your water heater or roof leaks, and your foundation is shifting, etc. With renting, you have nothing to fear. Everyday maintenance issues are taken care of by property owners or landlords. Furthermore, you may wake up to an upgraded Wi-Fi network, new central air unit, or a renovated carpeted hallway.

The decision to rent or buy is one of the more important decisions you’ll have to make. The worst thing to do is listen to clichés. As we have seen, renting isn’t just for people who want flexible living arrangements. There are reasons to rent long-term. It is not accidental that rental properties are thriving.

Photo credit: frankieleon via Foter.com / CC BY

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2 Types of Renters

types of rent

Not everything is black and white. Take newspapers for example. They get such a bad rap.

Renters, though, are of a more defined class. There are those that know what they want, know what they will miss if they don’t have it, and know what they can live without. And then there are those that don’t know a deductible from a deposit, let-alone the amount of stress added by a rental without dishwashers and in-unit laundry attachments. The first class of renter is the Grandmaster, whereas the second class is the Novice.

The Novice’s problem is simple. It is a problem of noticing how living arrangements determine the way you live. In every apartment visited, the Novice envisions ways of utilizing space and coming to terms with no-too-obvious flaws without much effort. It’s not until after move-in the Novice realizes that ways of living are determined by the tools one has at one’s disposal. The water pressure happened to be different, for instance, and the Novice didn’t think to ask about that. Amenities like air-conditioning were also ignored.

Don’t be a Novice. Know what you need to live the way you want. That’s how you’ll put your best foot forward when choosing a new home. That’s how to be a renting Grandmaster.

Photo credit: Helgi Halldórsson/Freddi via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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How to Stop Cats from Scratching Furniture

How to Stop Cats from Scratching Furniture

Apartment Cats

Cat-lovers have taken over the Internet—aren’t they just toxoplasma zombies anyway? And many apartment units are feeling the love, allowing cats only: no dogs.

A common misconception is that cats keep to themselves, are generally low-maintenance. But many have found even cats can be destructive to property. When it comes to cats, let’s just say property destruction is inversely related to physical activity. When the yarn ball isn’t around, or the toy mouse doesn’t squirm around the floor, your cat is going to need some attention.

Whether you play with your cat or not, it needs to burn energy somehow. That may translate into plucked couches or torn curtains. This is an easy issue to fix. Consider purchasing a laser for it to chase. If your cat has claws, get a scratch post for them to use. Sometimes it is best to have a scratch post for each room. You can also purchase anti-scratch tape that cats dislike to touch. Whatever you do, make sure Oliver has an outlet for all that feline energy.

And don’t forget, give that cat a treat!

Photo credit: JamesCohen via Foter.com / CC BY

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Why You Should Rent

Why You Should Rent

If you haven’t heard, renting is on the up-and-up. According to Appfolio.Com, “2 million new renter-occupied households were added in 2014, while the number of owner-occupied households decreased by more than 350,000.” But why?

The decision to rent or buy forces a common gridlock, “If I rent, I can move when the lease is over. But if I buy, then I can probably pay lower monthly payments.” But both renting and buying you next home is more than monthly payments and lease dates.

For example, homeowners have the privilege of ownership. But with great privilege comes great responsibility. Maintenance is the homeowner’s responsibility, on top of home insurance, property taxes, and other home owner fees. Sure, the monthly mortgage payments may be low, but you’ll have many unexpected and inbuilt fees.

On the other hand, if you rent, you may have access to amenities that, as a homeowner, you would not. You could have access to a 24 hour gym, bark park, and pool. Similarly, you won’t have to repair leaky faucets or clogged drains. Apartment complexes take care of maintenance. Another key advantage to renting is location. Most large cities don’t have room for houses. An apartment building fits the same lot space but, with tall, multi-unit designs, houses more people.

Renting has many appeals, from communal living to basically maintenance-free living. It is not accidental that rental properties are thriving: the numbers don’t lie.

Our amenities guarantee the value of your dollar is best placed in our apartments. Contact us today!

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